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July 07, 2015

Let's Work Together to Improve Carrier-Distributor Communication and Automation for Licensing & Appointments

By: Tim Owen

Did you know that various industry leaders have been working together to create best practices to improve carrier-distributor license & appointment automation and communication? How about the push to establish actual business scenarios to standardize the process?

These are progressive steps for the industry that the Sircon team at Vertafore is helping with, but we can't do it alone.

Thus far, Vertafore has been collaborating with the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD), the Depository Trust Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the Securities and Insurance Licensing Association (SILA), and more recently the Life Brokerage Technology Committee (LBTC), in affiliation with the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA), to create standards and initiatives to improve communication between carriers and their distributors.

A number of these initiatives have been designed to facilitate the process to initiate and manage selling relationships between carriers and distributors. These initiatives will help ensure agent/rep onboarding and credential management is both efficient and compliant. To name a few, standards created to date include:

Work is actively being done in several areas and we are working closely with the previously listed groups to get participation throughout the industry.

The key ideas that the working groups are  proposing is to drive a more prescriptive, business-scenario based process that is independent of the actual technical format to allow these different initiatives to be consistent with each other across all segments of the industry including life and annuity, health, and property and casualty. 

In addition, we're beginning to work with ACORD and DTCC to develop a testing and certification framework to make it easier for solution providers, carriers, and distributors to test and certify automated solutions. Certification will drive down the cost of automation which will help drive adoption of automated solutions.  

As previously mentioned, we are working with IRI on license and appointment automation. The L&A Automation working group has drafted a briefing paper that describes the state of the industry, as well as recommendations for moving forward as an industry to further automate the L&A process.

According to Jim Young, Vice President of Operations and Technology for IRI:

"Within IRI's broader research, education and advocacy mission, the association works to develop operations and technology best practices and clearing hurdles to promote adoption – Our L&A Automation working group is actively working to facilitate efficient processes between carriers and distributors. These efforts simplify new partner implementations immensely, and offer partners with early stage automation the opportunity to improve speed, quality and advisor/client user experience. Our member companies are partners that drive our efforts to deliver the highest benefit for the industry throughout the supply chain and ultimately our customers."

All of this activity is making a real difference, creating a more complete and connected world for producer lifecycle stakeholders. But there is still much to do. 

So we need your help!

Your participation is critical for these initiatives to succeed. To get involved, reach out to Vertafore's Sircon team or any one of the following organizations.



Tim Owen

Industry veteran Tim Owen brings nearly 20 years of expertise in creating and deploying usable and scalable technology solutions for the insurance and securities industries. As Vice President of Product Management, Tim focuses his attention on delivering high-level strategies for product development, product requirements, product launches, and regulatory compliance for Vertafore's Producer Lifecycle Management offerings.